In her life as an artist Sylvaria Napurrurla Walker stands in a family tradition of reputed Utopian painters. The Red Malee Dreaming she inherited from her grandmother Topsy Pwerle Jones, who along with her aunt Joycelyn Petyarre Jones influenced Sylvaria's evocative feathery compositional style.
The Jitilypuru, or Red Malee flower is a Eucalyptus species found in arid areas of the desert, and used by the Aboriginals as a sweetener (Eucalyptus rhodantha (Rose Mallee)). It is a plant with few yet long-living flowers, lasting 20-30 days and daily producing large amount of nectar. Flowering occurs between March and November, peaking in the winter months of June to August.
The colour and scale dynamics in this painting beautifully convey the delight of this vibrant, fragrant flower in the arid Australian desert landscape, and through its image the artist expresses her and her community's connection with Country, with its bright sweet gifts.
Dreamtime is the English translation of the word Jukurrpa, with a meaning encompassing the creation myths and transmitted memories of the Australian Aboriginal people, an immemorial expressive tradition. Jukurrpa is so intrinsically connected with this 40,000 year old community's history and wisdom that the most accurate way of translating it has been to allude to our sense of the formative intangible experience, memory, the divine, the imagination, the dream that inspires creation.
"Our Art is born from the dreams of each artist and the intense colours we see in our land... Through dreams, we can enter the other – parallel – world, in which since creation, gods, spirits and men have lived together." **
Every artist has a Dreaming, which they will interpret throughout their life, enjoying their connection to their dream and the keys they hold to community life.
** Quoted from the excellent documentary The Men of the Fifth World: